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Blog Excerpts

Geography across Languages

The country known as Germany to English speakers is also known as Allemagne (in French), Tyskland (in Swedish), Niemcy (in Polish), Saksa (in Finnish), Doitsu (in Japanese), and of course Deutschland (in German). Confused? Check out Geonames for tons of info about "the countries of the world in their own languages and scripts."

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After half a century of research, the monumental Dictionary of American Regional English is nearing completion. DARE chief editor Joan H. Hall recently talked to National Public Radio about the long, arduous journey of the dictionary, which will see its fifth and final volume published next year. As a "rantum scoot" into peculiar American speech, here are some sample regionalisms culled from DARE.  Continue reading...
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Teachers, are you wondering how you can use Visual Thesaurus word maps to introduce new concepts to your students? Check out this excerpt from Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna's Differentiated Reading Instruction for some ideas.  Continue reading...
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Microsoft's new search engine may not vanquish Google, but it certainly has captured a huge share of attention among everyone interested in brand names.

In case you missed the news reports or the relentless ads, Microsoft launched Bing at the end of May. Almost immediately, there was speculation about what the name was intended to mean or evoke.  Continue reading...
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On July 7, 2009, NBC Universal's Sci Fi Channel — the network responsible for the hit series "Battlestar Galactica" and such original movies as "Ice Spiders," "Android Apocalypse" and "Mansquito" — will complete a radical rebranding process. When it emerges from the laboratory, it will offer a retooled programming menu and a new name: Syfy.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Most Looked-Up Words in the Times

The New York Times has been keeping track of the words that users of the Times website click on the most to look up definitions. The word with the most lookups in 2009 is the Latin term sui generis. Nieman Journalism Lab presents the words and crunches the numbers.
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I've been thinking a lot lately about our decimal system and the way that exponential powers of ten capture our imagination. In part, that's because I've been called upon by various news outlets this week to counter a claim that the English language is adding its millionth word. But it's also because of a humbler, more personal milestone: what you're reading right here is (drumroll, please) my one hundredth Word Routes column.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 34 Articles